Dominant offensive display as Griffins fire 48 shots in 8-0 rout of Pronghorns

Grace Mwasalla is congratulated by teammates after scoring her second of three goals on Sunday to pace the Griffins to an 8-0 win (Rebecca Chelmick photo).
Grace Mwasalla is congratulated by teammates after scoring her second of three goals on Sunday to pace the Griffins to an 8-0 win (Rebecca Chelmick photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – It quite possibly might be the most prolific shooting display in Griffins women's soccer history.

MacEwan fired 48 shots on Sunday afternoon at Clarke Stadium – 21 of them on target – in an 8-0 rout of the Lethbridge Pronghorns that pushes their Canada West Prairie Division-leading record to 10-2-0.

It's the Griffins' eighth win in a row and perhaps the most dominant one they've ever had since joining Canada West.

Grace Mwasalla scored three goals and added an assist as she extended her program single-season record and took over the Canada West scoring lead, now with 13 goals on the season, passing UBC's Danielle Steer (12).

"Another four-point performance," said head coach Dean Cordeiro on Mwasalla, who only went a week between four-point games after one at Winnipeg last Sunday. "She's just something special. A goal and an assist yesterday – a six-point weekend after scoring four last Sunday. 

"I think people are not only taking notice in Canada West but in U SPORTS and across the nation. She's a special talent. She's going to be going places, that's for sure."

Other notable MacEwan performances included Maya Morrell, who tied the program single-game record with 10 shots and produced a goal and an assist. Grace Schimpf and Nikki Brodeur also recorded one goal, one assist games, while Brenna Paquin and Alyx Henderson also scored.

Maya Morrell tied a program record with 10 shot attempts on Sunday (Rebecca Chelmick photo).

That underlying theme? MacEwan's offence was cooking.

"It was the selflessness of the players to try and find each other, breaking lines and penetrating their back four," said Cordeiro. "It created a lot more offence. We scored eight and had a couple crossbars and some other close calls."

Henderson opened the scoring in the 14th minute on a sharp angle blast that picked the far side. Then Mwasalla got cooking with goals in the 18th (a one-time volley off a Brodeur cross) and 31st minutes (a rebound off an Anna McPhee corner kick).

Grace Schimpf made it 4-0 just after half-time on a cracker from the top of the box and Morrell extended the lead in the 52nd minute when she took a Mwasalla pass and busted in alone, slotting it in the corner.

Mwasalla completed the hat-trick in the 55th, heading home a Schimpf corner for her Canada West-leading 13th of the season.

"She's just lethal in terms of what does in tight to finish goals," said Cordeiro of his player of the game. "She just has a knack to be right place, right time."

Paquin (a tap in off a pass from Mariah Arnott after the ball spit out of a corner kick scramble) and Brodeur (a lunging header off a great Nicole Noble cross) finished off the scoring spree.

"Day by day we're trending in the right direction," said Cordeiro. "We're two games away from the conclusion of our regular season and we're just taking it one game at a time. We want to continue to get better. We're really liking where the team is at now. We're in good form."

With the game well in hand, Cordeiro got several players into the lineup who haven't seen much action, including centre-back Renee DeCorby, who made her debut after an injury kept her out of the lineup all last season.

"We're happy to have her back," said Cordeiro. "You saw what she can do today – hit a post on a corner kick and tried a bicycle as well. She's a special player and we're very happy for her making her debut today."

And the most heartwarming story of the day came with sisters in opposing nets. Erin Gill faced the full 90-minute onslaught from the Griffins, making 13 saves for the Pronghorns, while her younger sister was substituted into the match for MacEwan in the 58th minute, replacing starter Breanna Truscott, who earned the win with one save.

The Gill goalkeeping sisters, Toni, left, and Erin played against each other for the first time in their careers on Sunday at Clarke Stadium (Rebecca Chelmick photo).

That set up a dream scenario for parents Tim and Jeanette, who came up from Red Deer to watch, and the rest of the Gill family. At times, they were louder than MacEwan's entire fan base.

"I definitely heard the support for my sister, and I was happy she was able to get that," said Toni, who is four years younger than Erin and got into goalkeeping because of her. "I was happy we were both able to be on the pitch at the same time.

"She played very well. I was very torn watching the game. I obviously wanted us to score and win, but I also wanted her to make a couple of saves. I think she did very good."

The Griffins will be back in action for their final two games of the regular season next weekend when they host Regina (Oct. 15, 12 p.m., Clareview Field) and Saskatchewan (Oct. 16, 12 p.m., Clarke Stadium, both Canada West TV).